Navigation Links
UGA researchers identify key enzyme that regulates the early growth of breast cancer cells
Date:11/18/2010

Athens, Ga. -- New University of Georgia research, published this week in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that blocking the action of an enzyme called GnT-V significantly delays the onset and spread of tumors in mice with cancer very similar to many cases of human breast cancer.

When the GnT-V enzyme activity in the cells was increased in mammary gland cells, they increased proliferation and began to take on many characteristics of cancer cells. Using a mouse model of human breast cancer, tumors appeared when the enzyme was deleted, but onset was delayed an average of 10 weeks in the mice.

"In human terms," said Michael Pierce, director of the UGA Cancer Center and study co-author, "the corresponding delay would be many months and maybe years. You basically are slowing everything down and keeping the cancer from forming and progressing very early." Slowing the pace of the cancer could eliminate its spread to other organs, keeping it localized where it could be treated successfully, Pierce explained.

The researchers, lead by Hua-Bei Guo, assistant research scientist in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, stimulated breast cancer formation in mouse mammary glands by over-expressing a her-2 protein that is a growth receptor on the cell surface. The researchers note that over-expression of her-2 is associated with 25 to 30 percent of human breast cancers.

The GnT-V enzyme makes glycans, which are sugars on the cell surface that change in defined ways when the cell becomes cancerous. Glycans are released from the cell as glycoproteins, making them a promising early-detection marker in blood. The researchers studied a glycan made by GnT-V that appears when normal breast cells become cancerous. The GnT-V glycan product is found on her-2 and other receptors and acts to regulate the number of cancer stem cells in the tissue. The number of these cancer stem cells determines how rapidly the cancer will form and develop.

"Glycans often are ignored by scientists, because they're very complicated and present unusual problems to identify and understand," said Pierce. "This study is an example of how particular glycans that are present on various cell receptors can actually modulate the onset of tumor formation. That may give us new drug targets and new ways to kill the cancer cells specifically."

The finding of Guo and the research team at UGA's Complex Carbohydrate Research Center that the elimination of a glycan-synthesizing enzyme significantly reduced the population of breast cancer stem cells is unprecedented, they note.

"That population of cells appears to drive breast tumor formation in many cases," said Pierce, who also is UGA's Mudter Professor in Cancer Research, "and our research suggests that glycans may be potential targets to kill them selectively."

Pierce likened the cancerous stem cells to the queen of an ant colony. "You can try to get rid of the anthill, but it will just come back if you don't kill the queen," Pierce said. "If we can target those cancer stem cells for elimination, that would be the most effective treatment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Pierce
hawyeye@uga.edu
706-542-1702
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/28/2017)... -- News solutions for biometrics, bag drop and New ... At ... 16 March, Materna will present its complete end-to-end passenger journey, ... a real benefit for passengers. To accelerate the whole passenger ... point solutions to take passengers through the complete integrated process ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... With the biometrics market to exceed ... technologies that innovative and agile startups must incorporate ... the changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication (MFA), point-of-sale ... "Companies can no longer afford to cut ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ABI Research. ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, ... that is designed to enhance fraud detection and ... in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. ... to leverage additional insights from internal and external ... better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company in San Diego. ... as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its category on Trip Advisor. ... new team building format, a way for teams to not only interact with one another ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... PARK, Calif., March 23, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation ... products for the dermatology market, today reported financial ... 31, 2017, and will provide an update on ... the year. "We are pleased to ... year for BioPharmX," said President Anja Krammer. "We ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017  Agriculture technology company Cool Planet has closed ... conversion to commercialize its Cool Terra and Cool Fauna ... products that are simultaneously profitable as well as sustainable ... 18 months. This latest round of funding was led ... The company,s primary product, Cool Terra, can ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ... TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical needs ... the full year ended December 31, 2016. ... our company as we broadened our pipeline and ... rare disease company with an initial focus on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: